Extractions

It is our goal to help you maintain your overall dental health. However, there are times when tooth extraction is necessary for specific circumstances.

 

There are two types of extractions:

 

A simple extraction

 

is performed on a tooth that can be seen in the mouth. In a simple extraction, Dr. Ellison loosens the tooth with an instrument called an elevator. Then he will use forceps to remove the tooth.  

 

A surgical extraction

 

is a more complex procedure.  It is used when a tooth may have broken off at the gum line or has not come into the mouth yet. Dr. Ellison makes a small incision (cut) into your gum. Sometimes it’s necessary to remove the bone around the tooth or to cut the tooth in half in order to extract it.  

 

Most extractions can be done using just an injection (a local anesthetic). The option of a sedative is available in some cases to relax the patient.

 

During a tooth extraction, you can expect to feel pressure, but no pain.  

 

Follow-up

 

Dr. Ellison will give you detailed Instructions on what to do and what to expect after your surgery.  The instructions given should be followed for the next 7 days.  No carbonated beverages, No alcohol of any kind (including mouthwash), Do not use a Straw, No Smoking, No Dairy Products, Bite on the gauze given after the appointment for 1 hour.  If you have any additional questions contact our office.  

 

You can expect some mild discomfort after having a tooth removed. Research has shown that taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can greatly decrease pain.

Medications

 

These drugs include Ibuprofen, such as Advil Motrin and others. Take the medication that Dr. Ellison recommends up to 3-4 times a day.  

 

Take the first pills before the local anesthesia wears off. Continue taking them for three days. Ask your pharmacist for complete instructions.  

What to expect

 

Surgical extractions generally cause more pain after the procedure than simple extractions. The level of discomfort and how long it lasts will depend on how difficult it was to remove the tooth. Dr. Ellison may prescribe pain medicine for a few days and then suggest an NSAID. Most pain disappears after a couple of days. 

 

A cut in the mouth tends to bleed more than a cut on the skin because it cannot dry out and form a scab. After an extraction, you’ll be asked to bite on a piece of gauze for 20 to 30 minutes. This pressure will allow the blood to clot. You will still have a small amount of bleeding for the next 24 hours or so. It should taper off after that. Don’t disturb the clot that forms on the wound.

 

Helpful tips

You can put ice packs on your face to reduce swelling. Typically they are left on for 20 minutes at a time and removed for 20 minutes. If your jaw is sore and stiff after the swelling goes away, try warm compresses. 

 

Eat soft and cool foods for a few days. Then try other food as you feel comfortable. 

 

A gentle rinse with warm salt water should start 24 hours after the surgery, this can help you to keep the area clean. Use 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a cup of water. Most swelling and bleeding end within a day or two after the surgery. Initial healing takes at least two weeks. 

 

You should not smoke, use a straw or spit after surgery. These actions can pull the blood clot out of the hole where the tooth was. Do not smoke on the day of surgery. Do not smoke for a week after having a tooth extracted. 

 

Risks

 

A problem called a dry socket develops in about 3 to 4% of all extractions. This occurs when a blood clot doesn’t form in the hole or the blood clot breaks off or breaks down too early.

 

In a dry socket, the underlying bone is exposed to air and food. This can be very painful and can cause a bad odor or taste. Typically dry sockets begin to cause pain the third day after surgery.

 

Dry sockets occur Up to 30% of the time when impacted teeth are removed. It is also more likely after difficult extraction. Smokers and women who take birth control pills are more likely to have a dry socket. Smoking further increases the risk. A dry socket needs to be treated with a medicated dressing to stop the pain and encourage the area to heal.